How can you help look after your most valuable asset - your staff?
The landscaping industry predominantly employs males and whilst the stereotype of macho male ‘tradies’ being tough prevails, as an industry we can be a conduit for change. Your business productivity and bottom line will be affected by workers who may be struggling with mental health issues and you may not even be aware of it. Five out of seven suicides are men and the number of men with depression is 4.5 times the size of the grand final crowd at the MCG. It’s time to man up; stop being ‘blokes’ and talk about it!
Small landscape businesses are in the unique position due to close connections with their staff – working with them on a daily basis enables you to notice changes in behaviour or attitudes and allow you to ask the question – “Are you feeling OK?”
Larger landscaping operations may have a Human Resources manager or other personnel position and systems should be in place to have regular informal chats with staff, possibly by a supervisor to ensure you are doing what you can to assist your employees general wellbeing. It will pay dividends cementing your business as an “Employer of Choice”.
Mental Health & Your Workplace - The Real Cost
According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Common mental health conditions like depression and anxiety may be experienced by business managers or their staff, and can impact on business performance.
Lost productivity (through days off work or not working at full capacity)
Potential damage to relationships with clients or other staff
Check out this return on investment (roi) interactive tool which helps businesses to understand the importance of creating a mentally healthy workplace – choose construction industry from the drop down box and the size of your workforce.
Your business could consider implementing the Beyond Blue National Workplace Program which focuses on how to recognise when a work colleague may be experiencing depression or anxiety, how to support someone to get help and good management strategies such as return-to-work plans and making adjustments in the workplace.
Beyond Blue also offers Workplace Online a series of free online resources to raise awareness of depression and anxiety in the workplace and provide practical strategies to support individuals and promote mental health in the workplace.
increases understanding of mental health issues in the workplace
presents evidence-based information in an engaging, interactive and succinct way
includes activities that allow users to observe, reflect and learn about mental health issues in the workplace
takes up to 20 minutes to complete
can be used on smart phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers.
Some of your workers may be feeling stressed or under pressure simply because of the modern workday environment. This work related stress and the risks (‘psychosocial’ risks) such as bullying, occupational violence and fatigue that cause it, can have a profound impact on employers, employees, their colleagues and families.
Under current WHS legislation employers and managers have a responsibility to ensure (amongst other things) employees’ psychosocial safety whilst at work. Psychosocial risks include bullying, harassment, occupational violence, unreasonable job demands, job control/autonomy and job insecurity.
To understand more about this topic and an example of 5 steps your business can consider when establishing a risk management process to prevent and respond to psychosocial risks take a look at this factsheet.
Assistance is Available
There are lots of organisations offering support, counselling and assistance to anyone needing it - you just need to know where to look:-